Every year, kids impatiently awaits for his or her birthday. The excitement starts weeks beforehand and requests of what they want come in even earlier. After all it means an endless day of fun and games, delicious treats and lots of presents. Depending on how extravagant you want to make it, these parties can cost quite a bit. Especially in Dubai, where it is easy to outsource and have it all done perfectly, our kids are no longer happy with simple parties with homemade burgers, games organized by their mums and a bunch of kids to play tag with. Today, having a birthday party means bouncy castles, face painting, themed decorations, popcorn, magic shows, mascots and much more.
Tara (name changed) explains, “Besides my son, other kids and parents who come expect a fancy birthday party. They are used to going to parties with lots of attractions and as a parent, I have match standards so that my son doesn’t feel left out.”
Anne still believes in home parties like she used to, “It’s a pity that the birthdays my mum used to organize for me when I was a child are fading in the UAE. I had fun just having all my friends around and play with lots of cakes and presents. My three year old has already asked me about a bouncy castle in the form of Giraffe, 3 cakes of Dora and Boots, lots of balloons, popcorn and face painting. Just the equipment will cost me AED 1,500 without food, take away bags, cake etc.”
Our team at Souqalmal.com decided to take a look at how much these parties really cost and what are the options available for parents:
Little Sparkles Parties
Package: Enchanted fairytale princess party for 20 kids (2 to 3 hours)
The package covers:
- Real-life princess e.g. Cinderella, Ariel etc. (1 hour)
- Table and canopy decorated in princess theme
- Dress up shop
- Face painting
- Manicure station
- Games organized
Package Price: AED 3,350
Keep in mind: On top of the current package price, you will have to pay for food,drinks, the birthday cake and party favors.
Package: Carnival party for up to 30 kids (3 hours)
The package covers:
- Chairs and tables
- Face painting, balloon art and popcorn
- Bouncy castle
- Helium balloons
- Cake table balloon arch
- Mascot ( 1 hour)
- One kids game and host for an hour
Package price: AED 3,000 – however there is a basic package with just tables, bouncy castle and face painting starting at AED 1,500
Keep in mind: You will have to pay extra for food and drinks for kids and parents, additional decorations, birthday cake, additional games and party favors.
Package: Big Blowout party for 20 kids (2 hours)
The package covers:
- Venue, the private party zone
- Party theme for your choice ( some themes will come with additional cost)
- Games with prizes
- Art table
- Pizza and juice
- Balloons and banner
- Party leaders to set-up, organize and clean
Package price: AED 3,095
Keep in mind: Additional costs may include food for parents, party favors and birthday cake. If you select a specific theme, you will have to pay extra to setup the theme.
On average, parents can spend around AED 3,200 on a birthday party for just one child. Now, imagine if you spent this amount for every birthday they had till they turned 12 years old. That is a staggering AED 38,400 spent on just birthday parties for one child. If you’re a parent of two kids, the amount increases to AED 76,800. Keep in mind this average cost will not include additional party costs such as birthday presents, party favors or cakes.
Linda, a mother of three girls faces a similar issue as she explains, “You have to get creative especially if you have three girls. Finding ways to keep their birthday party themes unique is a challenge and spending on party organizers every single time is just not an option.”
Below are a few tricks for parents can follow
- Instead of paying for entertainment, you can get the kids to help out. For example set-up a scavenger hunt for kids in the back yard, buy t-shirts and get the kids to decorate them or get some beads and create a jewelry corner. In summer, kids can spend hours in an inflatable pool.
- For food options you can get the kids to personalize their pizza or decorate their own cupcake. Keep them fed and entertained at the same time.
- Homemade hotdogs, chips and burgers will cost you much less than getting a caterer.
- Remember, don’t go overboard with the food and drinks for kids as they don’t really put so much emphasis on the food but rather on the entertainment.
- If you have to get a party organizer because you just don’t have the time, try going for basic party packages which start as of AED 1,500. You can organize the other activities yourself.
- If your child wants a themed birthday party, get them to make the decorations and make a play date out of it. You will have to start couple of weeks before but it’s a great way to spend time with your child and save.
- Don’t go overboard with party favors. Keep it simple, fill up a bag with a small toy, some chocolates and school supplies. There are plenty of ways to save on party favors.
- Plan games where other parents can take part, this way you won’t need extra help with the kids and even the adults will be entertained.